On the rise
Shelton boys shake off sluggish start to season, win fourth straight
January 5, 2023
The stormy seas have settled and the Highclimbers are full sail ahead.
Shaking off an 0-5 start to the season, the Shelton High School boys basketball team routed Centralia 68-40 Tuesday night at Terry Gregg Court in Shelton for its fourth consecutive victory.
"We're still working on consistency," Shelton coach Sam Kreiger said. "In those first couple of weeks, when we were struggling, we were making a good play and then we made a bad play. And unfortunately a lot of the teams that we faced because our schedule got a little messed up because of the snow were teams that had played games, and they were also very good and experienced teams. So any time we made a mistake, they were immediately able to capitalize on it.
"It's tough for a group like we have coming in where we really only had two guys that have played a decent amount of varsity time. There's a lot there to get used to; to get the confidence, get the rhythm, really understand the speed, and we were playing some really tough teams during that time. The big turnaround is we've been able to more consistently make positive plays on the defense and offensive end."
Shelton (4-5, 1-3 Evergreen) broke out of its funk Dec. 20 when it raced past River Ridge 76-44, and then went on the road last week to beat Hockinson (61-58) and Elma (55-44) in nonconference action before returning to Evergreen action Tuesday night against the Tigers.
Against the Tigers, Weetly Cordova led Shelton with 16 points - one of four Climbers in double figures.
Senior Mason Goos scored 20 and 17 points against Hockinson and Elma, respectively.
A key factor in Shelton's winning surge has been the Climbers' outside shooting. Led by Cordova's four triples against Tigers, Shelton has 18 3s in past three games.
"The 3-point shot is big when we can it because it really helps space the floor. You're not getting out ... that opens the space up," Kreiger said. "We're not a particularly big team. We have some decent-sized guards, but they're all kind of the same size. We don't have a lot of height variation, so we need to create more space on the floor to operate. It opens up the floor for us and we have more space to work inside."
Tuesday night against the Tigers, that interior space in the paint helped Climbers' junior Matt Carleton, Shelton's tallest player at 6-foot-4, get going under the basket to the tune of a 14-point outing, while 6-foot-3 Journey Bear Perez added 12.
"I feel good now about where we're going. We're starting to ... make the right play more often and moving the ball to the open guy for the open shot and that's what we need to do to win basketball games," Kreiger said.
Shelton girls basketball
The Shelton girls basketball team won games last week at the Lady Trapper Invite from Dec. 28 to 30 at Heritage High School in Vancouver.
The Highclimbers played Ashland, Oregon, on Dec. 28 and won 52-41. Shelton faced host Fort Vancouver on Dec. 29 and won 36-30.
The win streak ended at four with a 68-47 loss to Evergreen on Dec. 30.
Shelton (4-5, 0-3) jumped back into Evergreen Conference games on the road against Centralia on Wednesday before hosting Aberdeen on Friday.
North Mason girls basketball
The North Mason girls basketball team rallied in the fourth quarter to force overtime and then defeated Olympic 45-43 to improve to 3-2 in Olympic League action on Tuesday night (5-2 overall).
North Mason boys basketball
The North Mason boys fell 64-50 at home to Olympic, dropping to 0-7.